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Pixel 3 Camera: Six tips and tricks for getting the best pictures

Google Pixel 3 ($ 800 on Verizon Wireless) and Pixel 3 XL ($ 930 on Verizon Wireless) Both have one…

Google Pixel 3 ($ 800 on Verizon Wireless) and Pixel 3 XL ($ 930 on Verizon Wireless) Both have one of the best cameras a phone can offer. The camera’s success is partly due to the hardware, and partly because of the software tweaks.

The hardware takes care of itself, but the software is something you need to familiarize yourself with before you can push Pixel 3’s camera to its limits. Here’s what you need to know.

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10 Tips and Tricks for Pixel 3


Quick Access

Screenshot of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Outside the box, the Pixel 3 camera opens when you double-click the sleep / wake button. If you enable a flip camera in Settings > System > Gesturer > Flip Camera then you can also quickly switch between the front and rear of the camera by twisting your wrist twice.


There are nine modes in Pixel ($ 374 on Amazon) Camera App:

  • Panorama
  • Portrait
  • Camera
  • Lens
  • Lens



] The first four of these modes are always available along the bottom of the viewer. Drag left or right across the screen to switch between modes. If you select “More”, the remaining camera modes will be displayed.

Top Shot


 pixel-3 motion on top shot

Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Have you ever taken a photo, just to notice someone blinking, or was the action you tried to catch happened just a few moments before you pressed the shutter button? Top Shot is Google’s solution for missed images.

Top Shot captures several pictures just before and immediately after the shutter button is pressed and then identifies the best image of the group. To use Top Shot, you must first activate Motion Photos with a button on the circular icon at the top of the viewfinder. In order to consistently use Top Shot, it is best to choose Motion On instead of Motion Auto .

 pixel-3-top-shot "data-original =" /pixel-3-top-shot.jpg


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

With motion enabled, take photos as you normally do. Then when you have a shot that did not really show how you like, open the Photos app and view the photo. Wipe up on the photo, where you will find a section titled “Shots in this photo.” The image strip contains the proposed shots, which is mostly better than the original photo.

Motion Auto Focus

Taking a photo or video of something that constantly moves usually leads to out-of-focus, blurred images. Pixel 3 now has Motion Auto Focus, which means you can tap an object and the camera tracks the object and constantly adjusts the focus as it goes.

To activate Motion Auto Focus, touch the subject you want to follow before pressing the shutter button. A white circle will pop up on the subject and move if needed.

Group Selfie

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 pixel-3-group selfie

Top: The usual forward-facing camera zoom level.

Bottom: Pixel 3’s forward-facing camera zoomed out completely.

Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

The forward facing camera on Pixel 3 lets you zoom out, get more of your surroundings – or people – in the shot. Google really plays this feature, with commercials showing different users struggling to get everyone in the shot.

When using the front camera, press the magnifying glass to bring up the zoom interface. Zoom out by adjusting the slider and then taking your photo.


Screenshot of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Pixel 3 has the ability to store the straight version of a photo along with the more common JPEG file format. Raw files are the unprocessed image captured by the sensor, making the file larger than JPEG, which in turn takes up more storage space.

Only enable this feature if you want to edit the raw, unprocessed image and is OK with the fact that it will use more storage.

For the average user, however, the shutdown of RAW + JPEG is turned off.

To enable RAW photos, open the Camera app and select More from the different modes at the bottom. Then select Settings > Advanced and then enable RAW capture.

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